1.Bible. In the Old Testament, the food miraculously provided for the Israelites in the wilderness during their flight from Egypt.
2.Spiritual nourishment of divine origin.
3.Something of value that a person receives unexpectedly.
4.The dried exudate of certain plants, as that of the Mediterranean ash tree, formerly used as a laxative.
5.A sweet granular substance excreted on the leaves of plants by certain insects, especially aphids, and often harvested by ants.
[Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin, from Greek, from Aramaic mannâ, from Hebrew mân.]
Manna, general name for several food substances, mostly sweetening agents, derived from unrelated plants. Flowering, or manna, ash, Fraxinus ornus (see Ash), produces from incisions an exudate that is 80 percent mannitol, a sugar alcohol, and is grown for this purpose in Sicily. Some members of the legume family, Alhagi species, native to Egypt and Syria, produce a similar kind of manna as an exudate on twigs. When it solidifies the bushes are shaken, knocking off the manna. When the scale insect Coccus manniparus punctures the bark of a Mediterranean species of tamarisk, Tamarix mannifera, a sweet substance is produced that falls to the ground and solidifies. Some experts believe that the manna of the Bible was the lichen Lecanora esculenta, or a related species. Arabs still gather this lichen and mix it with meal to produce bread. When dry, it can be torn from the soil and transported by the wind, producing a "rain" of food.
subvention: manna, manna in the wilderness, food
gift: bounty, manna
Food and Drink, 1275 B.C.
The wandering Jews (see 1275 B.C.) will survive starvation at one point by eating "manna," possibly a kind of mushroom.
Well when I found the Hebrew dictionary, I found out that the Hebrew word for "What is it?" is Ma-Na. Manna literally means the same thing, "What is it?" And when you understand that the Hebrew people were actually, lived in Egypt for generations, they were the artisans, they were the metallurgists, they were the craftsman. And when they left out of Egypt they took this knowledge with them.
Curious enough, in the ancient Egyptian text it was always referred to as the "What is it?", and if you read in the papyrus of Ani that was found in the tomb of Pepe the 2nd in old kingdom Egypt, it says, "I am purified of all imperfections, what is it, I ascend like the golden hawk of Horus, what is it, I come by the immortals without dying, what is it, I come before my father's throne, what is it, and it goes on and on, page after page, talking about all these attributes that you acquire as you ascend, but they always stop and ask the question, "What is it"?
--David Hudson, Dallas presentation---